I finally got to read Katie Heaney’s memoir Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date. It’s been on my “to-read” list since I caught wind of it last January. The fact that someone around my age compiled a collection of essays based around their lack of a love life up to the age of 25 was all too intriguing to me. Does 25 seem too young to have a memoir regarding this topic? Maybe. But I think it’s amazing that us late bloomers finally have a voice in book form (that’s not fiction)! Reading Never Have I Ever feels a lot like you’re having a really intimate late-night conversation with one of your girlfriends about every aspect of her [lack of a] love life, and it’s quite fantastic.
Despite the fact that I’ve been in two relationships (but really, my first boyfriend hardly counts), I felt like I’d really relate to Katie because of what the contents of her book were all about — looking for love, never quite finding it, unrequited crushes, having high expectations, misadventures in online dating, etc. Upon finishing Never Have I Ever, that feeling was confirmed. And I totally feel like Katie and I need to be friends because she mentions Harry Potter numerous times, owns the old school Dream Phone game, likes sci-fi (I wonder if she’s a Whovian?) and spells ‘NSYNC the correct way. Seriously, the correct spelling of ‘NSYNC is so, so important to me! ‘N SYNC, N’SYNC, and ‘Nsync are NOT acceptable. Normally I use an Asterik (like she does in the book, and my preferred way of spelling the group’s name), but WordPress italicizes everything when I do so. But I’m digressing.
All the repressed memories regarding any member of the opposite sex that I ever fancied from grade school up to my mid-twenties resurfaced with each and every page! Like, seriously. Who hasn’t been pissed at a friend who decided to go after the guy you just said you had a crush on first (despite the fact that you had zero intention of acting out on your feelings)? And those times you made drunk phone calls to the object of your affection (or in my case text messages)(because ugh, talking)? Or being bummed out when your crush didn’t ask you to skate with them during couples skate time at the roller rink (yeeaaah ’90s kids!)? And how about the time the boy you really liked and thought that maybe something was finally going to happen between you two, and then he fucking updates his Facebook status to “In a Relationship” not that much long after you made out (or something like that)? Katie covers all this in a hilarious self-deprecating fashion throughout her book.
I found Never Have I Ever to be soooo painfully relatable. Yes, I know this is a book about a woman who has gone on a quarter of a century without a boyfriend, or dated anyone for a long period of time. And yes, I’m aware that a few years ago I talked about my stupid boyfriend on this very blog ALL. THE. TIME. But never mind the fact that I’ve had two boyfriends or have genuinely been in love with a boy that I didn’t create a fictional romance with in my mind palace — my experience with the opposite sex is actually quite limited. No one ever had a crush on me in grade school (except I think maybe one guy did) or middle school or high school — boys probably thought I was a whack-a-doodle because I made it very clear that I was going to marry JC Chasez or Gideon Yago. I’ve never gone out on numerous dates (there have been two cases that made me ask “is this a date?”)(one was, the other I’m still questioning), and boys don’t fawn over and flirt with me constantly. And if they do, I wouldn’t fucking know.
If you’ve ever felt heart broken over a boy that you were never actually in a relationship with OR even officially dating, have high standards of what you want in a future mate thanks to Disney, overly obsess on crushes, have felt pressured and odd by society to get your first kiss or virginity out of the way because you’re over the age of 18, or get carried away with your over active imagination that creates fictional scenarios regarding your love life, then you need to read Never Have I Ever. Katie knows that feel, girl. And you just might find yourself saying, “OH MY GAWD. YAASS!” with each chapter.